Breaking: Senate Majority 'death sentence' in works - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, July 3, 2020
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Breaking: Senate Majority ‘death sentence’ in works

Update – The Senate Republican caucus appears to have backed away from the signed budget pledge referred to in this story. It will be updated if other developments occur.

Republican senators are being asked to sign a pledge to support every budget item approved by Senate President Cathy Giessel and her leadership team, or lose their membership in the Majority Caucus.

Must Read Alaska has learned that the pledge has been signed by most senators and covers the operating, capital, supplemental, “reverse sweep” and Permanent Fund dividend appropriation. It means that halfway through the two-year session, the rules of the Majority caucus are different, and the leadership wants it in writing from all members.

The majority caucus meets at 2 pm and the remaining senators who have not signed the pledge will be confronted with their final decision about whether to be included with the rest of the Republicans.

The move follows a complete reorganization of the Senate on Tuesday, where the most conservative members were stripped of their committee chairmanships and committee memberships. Sen. Mike Shower, Senate Seat E, lost membership in five committees and three subcommittees, and lost two chairmanships. Sen. Lora Reinbold, Sen. Mia Costello, Sen. Peter Micciche, and Sen. Shelley Hughes were also put in the corner.

The move would mean the Senate would likely change to a bipartisan majority with Sen. Tom Begich, a Democrat, as one of its more influential members.

Losing membership in the Republican Majority would mean anyone who does not sign the pledge will lose staff and will likely be relegated to a small office.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Actually, they started changing the rules last year, this is just another (big) change. The lust for power is a terrible thing and we’ll all pay the price for it.

  • I don’t remember “caucus” as a ballot choice. Doesn’t this senate leadership intimidation negate the votes of many conservative voters?

  • She must be taking her abilities from Pesident Trump . She was not voted to be my leader so how can she be so powerful. We neither live in a communist country or under the leaader of a dictator she needs to become a true Republican and give majority rule or set down and ///// up. Alaskans are tired of hearing from her. She stands with socialists, not true Americans.

  • We haven’t had a majority in quite some time. Ask Bryce edgmon who he’s in bed with on the Republican side. When you factor in all those bedfellows obviously the Republicans aren’t of a majority. All of this is a mute point because like the knights Templars and Friday the 13th execution order, heads are going to roll on election day. Metaphorically speaking of course as always.

  • What are they smoking/drinking in Juneau? Power sure goes to some heads. We need term limits and vote out about half of those idiots.

  • Easy to say, but after last session, I would not sign squat. I’d take the tiny office & no staff but stand on the fact I would not sign & depend on the voters to recognize freedom and liberty. If they did not see the value there so be it.

  • Sick and tired of Giessel. She needs to be put out to pasture she is bad for Alaska.

  • Could it be any more obvious how corrupt Geissel and Von Imhof, are and how weak so many Republicans are to go along?

  • Does this suggest we will soon see the “Giessel Troops” enforcing other rules she thinks up next….like a team uniforms, tables in the lunge set for her team only….a shorter session because the outcome of bills is already pre-determined and there for no discussion….will we soon see her in a uniform like worn by some South American dictator..with metals and shoulder boards…??

  • Binding caucuses are nothing new, I’m guessing this new move came about from Reinbold’s rant about not knowing what was required. This seems an attempt to “dumb it down”, simplify it for those that struggle with understanding. Caucuses prevent chaos, they’re a necessary evil. Once again, this stuff is not new, take it easy people.

    • After watching the effect of binding caucuses, which effectively silence dissenting voices that represent constituents, I’ll take the chaos. Don’t settle down! After watching the no vote explanations made by the Senators, if your not angry I don’t know what else to say.

  • Gissel is drinking from the same cup as Schifty Schiff. Power hungry wolves with their selfish goals overriding the will of us-constituents!

  • Our game plan should be to focus on Giessel’s seat. We could then send a clear message! If not you will get exactly what you ask for.

    • Support Roger Holland’s primary against Cathy.

  • Speaker Bryce Edgmon is using her. Or not. I like to examine the fact that she is a Democrat or rino or whatever you want to call her and the political system in Alaska is broken. I’m not sure why Bryce is giving her that, but she is liking it.

  • Two words. Term Limits

    • So you wind up with legislators who don’t know where the rest rooms and light switches are and you turn all power over to veteran staffers and lobbyists, both of which already have too much power.

      • Well said Art. Just imagine term limits on the US House-what newby would be able to stand up to Don Trump’s abuse of power?

        • You don’t have a clue. Trump won and you just can’t stand someone who is not with the “in crowd” of politics. I would be willing to bet everyone in Washington and Juneau have abused power.

          • What a hoot there Mark! What is your cred that you would “bet everyone in Washington and Juneau have abused power?” You didn’t pony up any money, so all hat and no cattle is my guess.
            Heheh!

          • Yes. The small office and only one staffperson… that would mean freedom

    • Term limits are great until you get a “Good One” In… then they suck!

    • We already have a mechanism for term limits, they are called elections. If a person is consistently elected to office why should that person be turned out? The answer to replacing a long standing politician is run better candidates with different platforms.

  • What is happening in Juneau is most certainly a Communist/Fascist/Nazi Dictatorship until “We The People” stop their actions. Seymour Marvin Mills Jr. sui juris

    • I agree with you about 50% of the time See more but this time you were spot.

  • Isn’t that considered blackmail? Sure sounds like it to me. Why are we putting up with this horse manure? Isn’t there anything that can be done to get these political deadbeats out of office early?

  • Senator Showers and the other Senators who have lost committee assignments and “staffers” need to remind the Leadership that big fancy offices and staffers are a real part of the State’s financial troubles. Working in the State Senate before oil $ back in the early 70’s I recall that only the Chairman of Finance had what could be called a staff. Losing staffers to the dictates of the Senate President is an opportunity to expose why Government is in sorry condition.

    • Older than AK…good idea

    • When my dad was in the legislature in the sixties, you had to draft your own legislation or hire an attorney to do the drafting. A lot fewer stupid bills in those days.

      • And your Dad didn’t have an office or staff either, his desk was in the chamber where he debated and cast his vote. I will remind folks that we had more Ferries, same number of Highways and much better schools without elected officials worried about how big their office is and how many staffers they employ to run out to get coffee for them. You cannot expect to cut State spending by electing people who see politics as an occupation and not service.

  • Finally thinning the herd, hats off to Senator Giessel.

    • Blowhard why don’t you go troll somewhere else?

  • I’m angry. When they remove my senator, they take my vote. They were elected by me to do a job I elected them to do. This action silences thousands of votes and is wrong! The caucus system needs to go. This is supposed to be a representative form of government. Everyone should have a voice!

  • This is leadership! She is stopping the two party extremes from operating on the goal lines and bring the senate majority into operating between the two 30 yard lines in order to get things done and represent the majority of the state of Alaska population. We don’t elect representatives to bully and be irresponsible. We elect representatives to represent the people of their district and represent all people regardless if they voted for them or not. Kathy is stepping up and being a true leader in Alaska and we should be proud to stand with her and embrace her leadership!!

  • We’re getting the politicians we voted for. It’s time to get these RINOs out of office. Anchorage voters especially have a lot of house cleaning that needs to get done. The Republican Party needs to get its affairs in order or we’re going to be stuck with tax tax tax spend spend spend Democrats.

  • Exactly Mrs. K! What your seeing is the real time exercise of raw, take no prisoners, political power. The binding caucus is a big part of that. If your a Republican I think we should push for elminating the binding caucus in the State of Alaska to be part of the party platform.

  • Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of us conservatives to form our own majority caucus – time to elect more conservatives, period. The swamp and the democrats in congress have conspired to make certain that our Tall Governor doesn’t get to do what we elected him to do – SHRINK the government. I for one will be supporting Roger Holland in his primary effort against tyrant Cathy, even though I don’t live in that district.
    What we are seeing is a form of coup – seizing power from the people – conducted by the left. This is not a centrist effort and any right-of-center ideas Cathy and Natasha and their co-conspirators might have held have been sold out to support the communists.
    How to fix the State economy by joining the Trump nation: reduce regulation; shrink the swamp – and that does mean laying off workers, even some good ones; restore the statutory PFD; encourage energy development – fill the pipe. It can be done folks, and the left is freaking out and desperate to stop us.

  • Purple-ism, Triangulation, call it what you want, you been had.

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